The Purple iPhone 12 has a very unique serial number

Apple Iphone 12 Spring21 Purple
Apple Iphone 12 Spring21 Purple (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The iPhone 12 in Purple has a new kind of serial number.
  • It appears to be the first Apple product to feature a randomized serial number.

The new iPhone 12 in Purple has something different than every other Apple product.

As reported by MacRumors, Aaron Zollo from ZolloTech confirmed that the iPhone 12 in its new Purple finish appears to be the first Apple product with a new ten-digit randomized serial number. The outlet was not able to confirm if the change came to the iPhone 12 mini in Purple as well.

With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial number format, compared to the usual 12 characters for most other Apple products. Apple previously said its randomized serial numbers would initially be 10 characters long, so the purple iPhone 12 appears to be the first Apple product with a randomized serial number.The change likely extends to the purple iPhone 12 mini, but we've yet to confirm this. On the contrary, the randomized serial number format does not appear to apply to the AirTag at this time, with multiple MacRumors editors and others we've spoken to still seeing 12-character serial numbers for the item tracking accessory.

Apple Iphone 12 Spring21 Durable Design Display Us

Apple Iphone 12 Spring21 Durable Design Display Us (Image credit: Apple)

Reports that Apple would change its serial number format goes back to March. Internal communication to service providers said that the company would change its serial numbers to a new randomized, ten-digit format.

Apple's current serial number format has long allowed both customers and service providers to determine the date and location that a product was manufactured, with the first three characters representing the manufacturing location and the following two indicating the year and week of manufacture. The last four characters currently serve as a "configuration code," revealing a device's model, color, and storage capacity.

If the new serial number format came with the new iPhone 12 color, it is likely that we will see the new format on the new iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K when they release later this month.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.